“MAKE sure you lock the door at night,” whispers my new landlord, passing me a heavy, metal key, “there’s strange men about.” It’s 10am on a Wednesday morning and I’ve just arrived at my new pad for the weekend. Set in 100 acres of breathtakingly idyllic English countryside, Maunsel House, the 13-bedroom Tudor manor in Somerset is a million miles away from my Brixton bedsit. The historic mansion, currently on the rental market for a modest £20k a month, boasts a grand entrance hall, two period drawing rooms, a library, dining room and large kitchen. Oh, and an eccentric aristocratic landlord. Like most people in these tough pandemic times, Sir Ben Slade is struggling to make ends meet. The 74-year-old was forced to cancel 50 lavish weddings this summer due to Covid-19 and lost £1million in revenue. What’s more, last year he lost a sexual discrimination case against two two former employees and owes them £150k. He’s appealing the decision. It’s been a rough year for the posh pensioner and he’s hoping the perfect tenant will help turn his luck around. But it’s fair to say he’s not for the faint hearted. “The judge said I was misogynistic,” he tells… Read full this story
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